Olympus E-M5 Mark ii: The Brave Shall Inherit Everything
It was almost three years ago that I decided to throw photographic equipment security out the window. Despite my friends’ and colleagues’ objections and warnings, I chose a newly introduced camera, from a nearly bankrupt company, smeared with economic scandal, and technology nowhere near tested and proved. Everybody I knew frowned and shook their head with disapproval. “These are not pro cameras!”, said they.” Small sensor”, “where are the lenses”, blah, blah, blah…
Perhaps it boils down to the fact that, despite my surname, I’m Greek, you see. As a people, we are not particularly known to fold, retreat in the face of danger or refrain from taking impossible risks. Historically, we are rather known for snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, beating odds, a tendency for disobedience to authority, and, occasionally, bringing Empires to their knees. In short, ordinarily making a beautiful mess of things.
Probably because I’m a bloody romantic too, said company having the name of the mountain that was the residence of our ancient Gods didn’t help either. This is how I ended up selling all my remaining DSLR gear and ordering one of the first Olympus E-M5 available; thus starting my journey into mirrorless photography.
And I’ve enjoyed every damn moment of it!
The original E-M5 went on to make tides in the photographic world; for many, it was the opening shot in a war for eventual mirrorless supremacy. Today, the photographic internet is ablaze with reports about that cameras’ grandson, the new Olympus E-M5 Mark 2. This is not a review, rather a piece of personal opinion, so you can read more about the technical aspects in other places. I recommend the excellent presentation at MirrorLessons.com (complete with introductory video). Also watch 43rumors.com for a continuous report on online resources for the new camera. And here is the official page for it.
What I’m here to say is that, I’m bloody excited mirrorless goes on being the constant revolution I always anticipated it to be. Where DSLR companies continue pushing the same camera with a new name (and perhaps a few internal parts re-used from the family box), mirrorless vendors persist on innovation and technological evolution.
Objectively speaking, the E-M5mk2 will be an absolute brilliant camera in its own right. It seems, for example, that it’s even more protected from the elements than the flagship E-M1; which is already a tall order. It has, at last!, video capabilities that can actually be damn useful to videographers. Especially given that the 5-axis IS is even more improved.
The composite shooting mode, presumably making use of some special Sensor Shifting Black Magic© is a superb implementation that will set this camera apart. I can imagine a host of landscape, still life, architectural etc photographers climbing on top of one another to take advantage of it. Heck, I’m even going to use it on portrait and fashion shots!
But, as I warned early on, it’s not my intention being objective here. For all mirrorless shooters, regardless of system choice, this is a day to celebrate. Mirrorless hasn’t managed yet to win the sales war over DSLRs; and this was expectable in many ways, inertia is extremely difficult to overcome. But, in my mind at least, it has already won in the field of photographic technology ethos. Incidentally, all three words you’ve just read are Greek. Which is evidence enough, I’m highly biased. See if I care.
Therefore, remembering a title from an old song by the late Frank Zappa, it’s time to rewrite the scripture: “The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing”
Be bold and brave. And relish every minute of it.